Internet Archive/Advanced Search

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Help with CSV and Excel

Instructions for using the advanced search engine to create reports for items pertaining to books...

If a contributing library wished to see how many pages were digitized in the month of August 2008, here is how this would be done.

go to
click on Go!
click on "advanced search"
look half way down the page to the "advanced XML Search" window.
Type into the "Query" field- "contributor:(library of congress) AND publicdate:[2008-08-01 TO 2008-08-30]"


  • No " " required. Must have "()" around contributor name.
  • No spaces after ":"

By holding down the "Shift" Key, highlight the fields you want to eventually have exported to excel. For example- "date, identifier, imagecount and title"
Click the radio button for "CSV"
Hit "search". There might be a small delay as the search is executed. In this query, approx. 2143 results will be returned.
When prompted, save the ".csv" file to your hard drive and note the location saved.
Open Excel and open the previously saved ".csv" file. It will parse the data into columns and you now will be able to sort, sum, or otherwise manipulate the data.


  • You can try constructing a search query and hitting "Search" in the top "Advanced Search" section and then coming "back" to this section to copy that query into the "Query:" box.
  • "downloads" is the number of downloads for content in an item
  • "month" is the number of downloads in the last 30 days
  • "week" is the number of downloads in the last 7 days
  • We have a known bug in our site with using " TO " in things like titles/descriptions. If you run into a problem and need to use " TO ", use it lowercase and you will avoid this bug.

Dates and ranges

The following dates can be used for range queries:

  • addeddate
  • createdate
  • date
  • indexdate
  • publicdate
  • reviewdate
  • updatedate

The special date field, "oai_updatedate", can be used to mean all of the following dates combined:

  • addeddate
  • indexdate
  • publicdate
  • reviewdate
  • updatedate

The rationale for "oai_updatedate" date merging is to allow something like the Open Archives Initiative protocol get time-sortable lists of updated or added items.

  • addededate -- should be time the item was initially added to archive
  • indexdate -- should be last time item had a change that updated our search engine
  • publicdate -- should be, for *most* items, the time after its first derive is done (ie: has "public formats" for a /details/ page)
  • reviewdate -- updated to be the most recent time of all reviews (updated on new reviews and review changes)
  • updatedate -- mostly the time of the last /editxml/ page submit for an item

Example date ranges: updatedate:[2007 TO 2008] createdate:[2007-02-01 TO 2007-02-11]

For dates like "sponsordate" that are not able to do ranges, they can still use * wildcards, for example: sponsordate:200802*

Example queries

Explanation of Terms, Operators, Queries, and Grouping

Here, you will find an explanation on how the syntax to the search engine works.

Our site uses the Apache Lucene opensource search engine library and uses its lucene query syntax. A briefer explanation of the syntax follows.

The search engine supports two types of terms, single terms and phrases.
A single term is a single word such as "test" or "hello".
A phrase is a group of words such as "duck and cover".

Field Specific queries:
If you want to restrict your search to a specific part of the metadata, you can append in front the term a Field Shortcut, such as:


title:"Duck and Cover"

will look for "Duck and Cover" only in the title of the items. For more information on Field Shortcuts, see section about Field Shortcuts Expansion
NOTE: searching in only a restricted set is better than using the default set for two reasons:

  1. it’s much faster
  2. the results are much more relevant

Boolean Operators:
By default, the operator is AND, which means that the query:


test hello

is exactly similar to test AND hello, which means that documents containing the term "test" AND the term "hello" will be returned.
The query:


test OR hello

will return documents either containing the term "test" OR the term "hello". The query:


test AND NOT hello

will return documents that contain the term "test" but not the term "hello" NOTE: using the NOT operator, be sure to supply at least one term without the NOT, or search will fail (the query NOT test is not valid).

Range Queries:
range queries allow you to search for documents whose field match values in between two bounds, for example:


downloads:[1000 TO 2000]

will return items whose download count is between 1000 and 2000. using [] will include the bounds in the search, and () will exclude the bounds from the search If you don’t want to specify a bound, you can use the special keyword "null":


downloads:[10000 TO null]

will search for items with more that 10000 downloads.

Boosting a term:
Boosting allows you to control the relevance of a document by boosting its term. For example, if you are searching for war gulf and you want the term "gulf" to be more relevant boost it using the ^ symbol along with the boost factor next to the term. You would type:


war gulf^4

This will make documents with the term gulf appear more relevant.

The search engine supports using parentheses to group clauses to form subqueries, for example:


(war OR gulf) AND tank

you can also use this feature within a field:


title:(war OR gulf)

Fuzzy Queries:
If you are not sure how to spell a word you can ask the search engine to try to figure it out for you. To do this, append a ~ after the term to apply it on, for example:



will find the words buttonwood, as well as cottonwood and buttonware. NOTE: this query involves a lot of computing, so use it wisely and expect to wait a little for results to come in!